Roxy Theatre

127 W. Ocean Boulevard,
Long Beach, CA 90802

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Additional Info

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Liberty Theater, Stanley Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Stanley Theatre (1953) exterior

The Liberty Theater was opened on May 15, 1916. This was a smaller member of the long line of theatres which once stood on Ocean Avenue. On August 16, 1930 it was renamed Stanley Theatre with Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra in “King of Jazz”. On October 13, 1939 following a revamp it was renamed Roxy Theatre. It began screening adult movies in 1968.

As I remember it when driving by when a child, and as it was when I photographed it in 1982 shortly before its demise, the fa├žade featured a nice but rather typical Moderne trapezoidal marquee with the “Roxy” name in neon channel letters over the central panel.

The facade however, had been covered over in the 1960’s by a metal grille of a type popularly used at the time to obscure (thereby “updating”) the fronts of older buildings. Added to this were sheet metal silhouettes of a bell bottomed man and woman. I will guess that they once had painted detailing, though by the time I photographed the theatre, both they and the marquee had been painted out in vivid flat blue. It closed as an adult the theatre in 1977.

Contributed by GaryParks

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 26, 2010 at 5:25 am

The street name in the address has to be changed to Ocean Boulevard. Ocean Avenue is way over on Terminal Island, so that name misdirects the Google Maps link.

Also, I think it might have been W. Ocean Boulevard rather than E. Ocean Boulevard, but I’m not sure. Maybe somebody local will remember which direction the theater was from Pine Street.

I also came across an old photo of this theater in which the marquee bore the name Stanley, so that must have been an aka around 1940. See the movie clip titled “Pacific Electric Trolley Waltz” on this page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm

So he did, and in the very first comment, at that. I must have been too dazed by five o'clock in the morning to notice it.

Seeing the satellite and aerial views of Long Beach at Bing and Google maps is just flabbergasting. Practically everything I remember having been there is gone. Southern Californians used to criticize Long Beach for being dull and bland (one friend of mine used to call it Dubuque-By-the-Sea) but I always liked it (and I probably would have liked Dubuque, too.) It’s too bad that so few of its own citizens liked it enough to save more of it from the redevelopers.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 27, 2010 at 5:40 am

The magazine has decided to remove its archive from Issuu, a free site, and put it on their own site, where it will be available only to paying subscribers, at $20 a month. I enjoy Boxoffice, but that’s way beyond my limited budget, and only slightly less than I now pay for access to the entire Internet. And though I miss digging up bits of information from Boxoffice, its absence has given me a lot more free time.

William on August 31, 2010 at 3:23 pm

In around 1936 this theatre was known as the Stanley Theatre. I found afew pictures with Pacific Electric cars passing the theatre as the Stanley. And Joe’s 1954 postcard matches the other buildings on the block.
So the site needs to add the Stanley Theatre to the aka list above.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 28, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Pity it had to resort to smut to stay open.thanks for the pictures.

drb on January 9, 2011 at 12:05 am

Here’s the 1936 PE photo:
View link

dallasmovietheaters on January 18, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Was a World War I Liberty Theatre named in 1916 and retaining it to the end of its silent era. Otis Hoyt ran it and the Strand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 18, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Page needs to be updated with aka Strand Theatre, per previous comment by dallasmovietheaters.

rivest266 on February 23, 2021 at 12:39 pm

This opened as Liberty on May 15th, 1916, and renamed Stanley on August 16th, 1930. It was renamed Roxy in 1939 and started to show adult movies in 1968 until it closed in 1977. Grand opening ads posted.

rivest266 on February 23, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Became Roxy on October 13th, 1939. Another ad posted.

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